Holy Things for Holy People by Kris Rooney


     I had a profound experience of Eucharist yesterday.  I went to Mass for the first time at Brookdale Assisted Living on Union Street.  Once a month, 9:00am every second Tuesday, our parish holds Mass there.  It brings in residents and parishioners.  It is a whole other experience than going to Mass in church.  I think the differences renew the meaning of Eucharist.

     The first reading was from the Book of Wisdom, 2:23 – 3:9.  It ends with, “…grace and mercy are with his holy ones, and his care is with his elect.”  There was certainly grace and mercy amidst our small gathering of holy ones, his elect.

     After the bread and wine were also made holy, a beautiful thing happened.  Because many of the participants weren’t mobile, everyone received where they were sitting.  Even those that could stand, sat in solidarity with those that could not.  Vito, the Mass Coordinator, and Father Bob went to each person.  It reminded me of Christmas at our house.  Each person takes a turn opening their gift: that way, everyone can enjoy the gift together whether they are opening or watching.  Each person received the gift of Christ and we were all a part of it.  Some could not hold the chalice; they were helped so they could partake.  It was an intimate, simple sharing of Christ.  Only the bare essentials were needed for Mass to take place.  It was the holy people that made it Eucharist.  I left feeling blessed, not for witnessing our faith in action but actually being a living part of it.

     Something else that hit me was the people that were walking by as we celebrated.  They were somehow a part of Mass too.  This presence of Christ could not be held in the space.  It spread outward.  People walking by couldn’t help but peek in and wonder.  Maybe they were touched by this celebration too.  God cannot be contained.

     Sometimes we get scared off by this word, “evangelization”.  But I think evangelization happens when we bring our whole self to another and find Christ already there.  That is what happened at this Mass.  We found Christ in each other.  We became one body of Christ, whether giving or receiving in Eucharist.  It was the action of that Christ-sharing that made it a holy thing.  The action moved outside of the walls of the room where we were.  Here I am still talking about it and sharing with all of you.

     I encourage anyone who is free for daily Mass to check out when they take place at our local, assisted living facilities.  You should experience it for yourself.

3 responses

  1. Made me smile. I’ve been going to Heritage House for a few years and then I switched to Brookdale, but I’m away all Tues till Dec 1. So lovely to SEE the experience through your eyes. I too have had such deep sweet moments and it’s good to see you write about them. This could be a reflection in the EVANGELIST. Truly. Others might be nudged. I HOPE to take B. to Ingersoll sometime – but again it’s on TUES. (later) so I can’t for a while. She came to mass once recently at 4:30. She is a Baptized Christian. She sang with the voice of a Girl Scout and the HEART of a Christian woman. It was so touching. Someone who knew her even came up to her and said – Do you go to our parish? Thanks for this one.

    1. We miss you, Marni.

      The good news is we have had a different reader 5 months in a row from our parish, The love of our parish is ever present.

      It is my understanding with the Feast of the Immaculate Conception falling on the second Tuesday we will be performing Communion Services on December 8th.

      Hope to see you on January 12th.

  2. Kris,
    Thank you for the very nice article. There are many that do the same thing in the name of Our Lord at the other four facilities, without the Daily Mass people present. This is a timing thing, because of the 9 A.M. at Brookdale, Niskayuna, versus 10 A.M. at Heritage, Brookdale Schenectady and The Eddy as well as 10:30 at Ingersoll.

    Ron Severson strives to bring in new people to keep the spirit flowing and I am certain he and Father Bob would say we need more, we need you.

    There are too many of our parishioners spending their twilight years in these facilities. They too would love to have Daily Mass people share the bread of life with them.
    Jesus calls us to administer to those less fortunate than we.

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